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GTA is not the most profitable commercial entertainment product, World of Warcraft is

Published: 19:31, 10 April 2018
Characters from World of Warcraft and Trevor from GTA V
World of Warcraft...and Trevor

Circling the headlines yesterday were news of GTA V being the most lucrative commercial entertainment product ever but the lads over at GameWatcher disagree with beancounters at MediaWatch, claiming it's not GTA - it's World of Warcraft.

Apparently, even though Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V is extremely popular and successful, it's "not the biggest entertainment product of all time", GameWatcher says. "World of Warcraft is", they added.

Indeed, the figures say GTA has sold 90 million units, racking up figures upwards of $6 billion, which, although impressive, isn't enough to beat Blizzard's mother of all cash cows - World of Warcraft.

Blizzard King Anduin Wrynn posing for a picture with his sidekicks. World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

WoW, as it's commonly called, has been around for much longer and financial analyses from 2017 put Blizzard's title somewhere at $10 billion in revenue. We're not talking about slight advantage here either - this is almost 50 per cent higher than GTA V.

GameWatcher also mentioned League of Legends, which reportedly earns measly $2 billion a year. However, it turns out those sorts of revenues are difficult to determine with certainty, prompting them not to open up that can of worms.

That Grand Theft Auto is successful is undeniable - the game manages to wipe the floor with its much younger competition, even now, five years after its launch.

Rockstar Games Screenshot from GTA V showing two heavily armoured cars racing on a highway. GTA Online - Gunrunning

It's in boxed charts even today - that's how relentlessly it fights from fading away. Nevertheless, despite its heroic efforts, it isn't enough to take up the pole position.

World of Warcraft, on the other hand, isn't really up there in the charts, at least as far as I'm aware. Knowing Blizzard's business model, I'm not sure whether there is any point to selling physical WoW copies.

Blizzard's bread and butter in WoW have been expansions and DLC and to be fair - they seem to be masters of flogging a dead horse. In fact, their horses tend to gallop when flogged. Often on old engines, but with cute content.

Either way, truth never hurts, even if it , right? Your move Rockstar. Or was that check mate?

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